Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Mississaga Street in Orillia was filled with the sounds of happy carollers in December. Members of the Orillia Vocal Ensemble and their director, Roy Menagh, sang their way up and down the street on two Saturdays in December.

One special stop was at Dapper Depot Menswear to give a special rendition to owner, Steve Orr.  Steve had just agreed to sponsor all the expenses of the Ensemble’s next concert on April 7, 2013, a fundraiser for The Telecare Distress Line for Greater Simcoe. This sponsorship enables all the proceeds of the concert to go directly to the charity.

For over 33 years the dedicated volunteers of Telecare Distress Line of Greater Simcoe have been listening anonymously, and confidentially, without judgment, to the needs and concerns of the citizens of Simcoe County. They receive up to 1000 calls per month from people in the community who are alone, living with mental health issues, coping with grief, addictions or abuse.

Trained volunteers are able to provide a listening ear, show compassion and understanding and often help guide callers towards appropriate community services. Telecare volunteers work tirelessly, without recognition or thanks due to the anonymous nature of the service. Telecare has recently recognized a need to make better connections with the elderly in our community in order to offer emotional and listening support, isolation relief, and connection to other community services.

To this end Telecare now offers a new program of reassurance calls to compliment their 24/7 distress line service. Through this new Reassurance Call Program, the service is reaching out to our elders to encourage them to register for a phone call to them from one of Telecare’s caring volunteers. Clients are paired with a volunteer to receive a short “check in call” at predetermined times. These calls are not only a reassurance to our seniors that they are not alone but also help their caregivers to feel content that their loved one will be receiving a friendly call while the caregiver is busy or away. The program is also a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our seniors and help to transfer knowledge in our community as volunteers listen to the stories of our elders.

Says OVE Conductor Roy Menagh, “Each time we perform we are reminded of the reassuring power of the human voice. The Orillia Vocal Ensemble is proud to be able to raise funds for this important community service.”

The Orillia Vocal Ensemble is a 'pay it forward' choir, with the funds raised from all of its concerts going to a different charity.  In the three short years of the choir’s existence it has raised over $15,000 for local charities. For more information about the OVE, to join, of ticket information, contact Anna Proctor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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